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May 15, 2024

Buyers Don’t Care About Your ‘Sense of Urgency.’

See if any of these sound familiar…

  • “I met a potential buyer at a conference last week and we had a really good conversation. So, I can’t understand why isn’t he interested in buying from me today.”
  • “The perfect sales prospect downloaded a white paper off of our website yesterday, but she said she doesn’t want a capabilities presentation from us.”
  • “I’ve been connected with this prospect on LinkedIn for a month, but they’re showing no interest in becoming a client.”

While I paraphrased all of them a bit, I’ve been hearing every one of those statements – multiple times – from market research supplier-side firms for years.

And I understand why they’re anxious, but buyers don’t really care about what you’re selling or your desire to sell it now. And salespeople don’t understand what’s happening with buyers. Consider these.…

Know – Like – Trust

In the world of professional services, it’s long been a truism that buyers won’t buy from you until they get to know you – then like you – then trust you. This means that when you meet a prospective buyer, you need to shepherd them through this process. That is, you have to build a relationship with them… stay in touch, share resources, have non-sales conversations, get to know them personally as well as professionally, find common ground, and so on.

And here’s the thing… building a relationship takes time. There are no shortcuts. But the problem is that most salespeople will give up too soon. They don’t let the relationship grow and develop over time. They (or their boss) say, “Well, if it hasn’t happened by now, it’s not going to.” So, they walk away. And that’s too bad.

The 95/5 Rule

I’ve read the results of several studies lately that say that only 5% of potential buyers are in the market for your product or service at any given time… which means that 95% of those conference attendees/white paper downloaders/LinkedIn connections are not prospects. At least not right now. The key, though, is to stay in touch – in a friendly, helpful, non-salesy way – until they fall into that 5% bucket. Because if you do stay in touch, it will be you and your firm that those prospects will remember when it is buying time.

The Hardest Thing To Do

Nothing in sales is more difficult than convincing a new buyer to do business with you the very first time. Think about it… by definition, for them to become a client, you have to ‘steal’ them from the competition. And unless you’re doing something wildly different (and better), can achieve the same outcomes significantly faster (and not miss anything), or deliver it much, much cheaper (not necessarily a good strategy), why would a buyer ever switch to your firm?


There are a lot of things working against you as you try to acquire new clients. So be patient… you have to play the ‘long game.’ Be frequent and consistent in your touch-points with potential buyers… and don’t give up. Do those things and sales success can be yours.

Good luck and good selling.

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